Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

social forces 15347605

Who decides ISIS is a terrorist group?

Recent surmounting media coverage of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has evoked fear of impending terrorist threats in the minds of many. I spoke with Colin Beck, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Pomona College, to gain his thoughts on the group, as well as the designations and motivations of terrorism.

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9780199608102

Atheism and feminism

At first glance atheism and feminism are two sides of the same coin. After all, the most passionate criticism of patriarchy has come from religious (or formerly religious) female scholars. First-hand experience of male domination in such contexts has led many to translate their views into direct political activism. As a result, the fight for women’s rights has often been inseparable from the critique of organised religion.

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Hahrie Han_How Orgs Develop Activists

Moving from protest to power

Now that the National Guard and the national media have left, Ferguson, Missouri is faced with questions about how to heal the sharp power inequities that the tragic death of Michael Brown has made so visible. How can the majority black protestors translate their protests into political power in a town that currently has a virtually all-white power structure?

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9780199394906

Is America generous? [infographic]

Being a generous person and donating a part of one’s income is something many people—and many religions—believe is important. In their Science of Generosity Survey, Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson took a closer look at this practice, particularly concerning Americans, to find not only how much of their income they donated, but how much they said they donated, as illustrated in this infographic.

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The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime

Five facts about women’s involvement in organized crime

Most organized crime falls into one of two distinct types: illegal industries and mafias. Both types of activity have been dominated by men, but there are many historical examples where women also participated, particularly in illegal industries.

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9780199367931_450

The French burqa ban

On July 1, 2014, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced its latest judgment affirming France’s ban on full-face veil (burqa law) in public (SAS v. France). Almost a decade after the 2005 controversial decision by the Grand Chamber to uphold Turkey’s headscarf ban in Universities (Leyla Sahin v. Turkey), the ECHR made it clear that Muslim women’s individual rights of religious freedom (Article 9) will not be protected.

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9780198712381_140

Why study trust?

In many countries, including Britain, the Euro-elections in May showed that a substantial minority of voters are disillusioned with mainstream parties of both government and opposition. This result was widely anticipated, and all over Europe media commentators have been proclaiming that the public is losing trust in established politicians.

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Holocaust fatigue and the will to remember

By Arlene Stein
If talk of the Holocaust was in the air when I was growing up in the 1970s I was barely aware of it, even in New York City which was home to a large Jewish population, many of whom were Holocaust survivors.

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Transforming conflict into peace

By Valentina Baú
My research has focused on the use of participatory media in conflict-affected communities. The aim has been to demonstrate that involving community members in a media production provides them with a platform to tell their story about the violence they have experienced and the causes they believe led to it.

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Education and crime over the life cycle

By Giulio Fella and Giovanni Gallipoli
Crime is a hot issue on the policy agenda in the United States. Despite a significant fall in crime levels during the 1990s, the costs to taxpayers have soared together with the prison population. The U.S. prison population has doubled since the early 1980s and currently stands at over 2 million inmates. According to the latest World Prison Population List (ICPS, 2013), the prison population rate in 2012 stood at 716 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants, against about 480 in the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.

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What is the American Dream?

By Mark Rank
In celebrating the founding of this country, many things come to mind when asked to describe the essence of America — its energy and innovation; the various liberties that Americans enjoy; the racial and ethnic mix of its people. But perhaps fundamental to the essence of America has been the concept of the American Dream.

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Girls who kill

By Kathleen M. Heide, Ph.D.
There has been a resurgence of interest in girls who kill, following the report of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed another girl of the same age 19 times on May 31, 2014. The girls reportedly had planned to kill their friend following a birthday sleepover to demonstrate their allegiance to a fictionalized internet character known as Slender Man.

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Books by design

By Maggie Belnap
Despite the old saying, a book’s cover is perhaps the strongest factor in why we pick up a book off the shelf or pause during our online web shopping. Of course, we all like to think that we are above such a judgmental mentality, but the truth is that a cover design can make — or break — a book’s fortunes.

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Eight facts about the gun debate in the United States

By Philip J. Cook and Kristin A. Goss
The debate over gun control generates more heat than light. But no matter how vigorously the claims and counterclaims are asserted, the basic facts are not just a matter of personal opinion. Here are our conclusions about some of the factual issues that are at the heart of the gun debate.

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Politics and cities: looking at the roots of suburban sprawl

Our modern-day suburban sprawl is much more than bad architecture and sloppy planning, yet there might be a simple solution. Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, argues that the expansion of rail transit would help us to create better places to live.

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Discussing gay and lesbian adults’ relationships with their parents

By Corinne Reczek
The growing support for same-sex marriage rights represents an important shift in the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in the United States today. However, the continued focus on same-sex marriage in the media, by states, and by local governments, and by scholars and researchers leaves other arenas of the family lives of gay and lesbian adults relatively unexplored.

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